The planters on Harrogate’s James Street could be removed after June 21 — but only if the government proceeds with the final stage of its roadmap out of lockdown.
North Yorkshire County Council closed parking bays on James Street at the start of the pandemic and put in planters to allow pedestrians to conform with social distancing guidance.
Cllr Don Mackenzie, the council’s executive member for access, told the Stray Ferret that “it would be reasonable” to expect the planters to be removed after June 21.
Many traders in Knaresborough are also keen for social distancing cones in the town centre to be removed and parking restored.
However, the June 21 date looks increasingly in doubt due to an increase in Delta variant cases. Cllr Mackenzie said he would be “perfectly happy” to see the planters stay if the government delayed the date.
“Frankly, I’m relaxed about what happens with the planters either way. If it’s felt social distancing is still needed we’ll keep them up.”
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Anna McIntee, of Harrogate Residents Association, set up a petition against the planters that has received over 800 signatures. She told the Stray Ferret that she wants to see the planters removed as soon as possible.
“Why is the council singling out retailers only on James Street and Albert Street? You can park freely on Cold Bath Road, Cheltenham Parade and Commercial Street.
“The June 21 reopening date is for nightclubs, theatres and large events, not for walking outside on a street. Please remove the planters and let customers have the same access as they do at our supermarkets and outlying retail parks”.